-=PCTechTalk=- Re: XP Musical boot failure

Hmm, sorry I'm not too up to date... I've been so busy and tired lately that
I've just been skimming through my emails a couple times a week.  Well,
anyway, I'll throw out the only oddball ideas I can come up with....

I'm not sure of this entire situation or if my idea has been thought of or
not.  It sounds to me like you added a couple of HD's (or was it just one?),
so I'm wondering if your power supply is up to handling the extra load.  All
too often the pre-made PC's come with power supplies that can't handle much
more than they come with.  If you built it yourself then you probably have a
large enough PS.  Don't forget that if your PS has more than one rail then
you can run out of power on one rail long before you come close to maxing
out the wattage of the whole PS.  If you have a power hungry graphics card
then you can easily max out one rail.  

Another thing I'm not sure about is if its possible that the order the HD's
are hooked up could have been changed or if the active partition could have
changed somehow.  The PC will try to boot off the boot loader on the active
partition of the first HD.  There are also usually options in the BIOS to
specify which HD you boot from, which basically puts that HD as first to
check for boot loader (basically it will be like the new C: drive).  Now,
the boot loader I'm referring to has nothing to do with what partition XP,
Vista, or whatever is installed to.  The boot manager (you are either using
Vista's built in one or a 3rd party one) will put the boot loader on the
active partition of the first HD, and that boot loader should have info as
far as what partition goes to what OS.  Also, I believe the HD's MBR points
to the boot loader, so if you move that file without fixing the MBR, then it
won't boot up.

I have to check, but I think Acronis True Image might save the FAT when
doing a sector by sector backup, but I know it doesn't if you don't use the
sector by sector option.  The sector by sector option isn't used too often
because it makes a much bigger backup file(s).  Hmm, I'm curious now... I
wonder how Acronis True Image handles the boot files when your not restoring
a sector by sector backup.  It must fix the files to be useable, but if
there are more than one set (on different partitions) or different types (XP
vs Vista vs 3rd party) then which one does it choose as the one to use.
Also, does ATI change the active status of a partition after restoring?
That could easily mess you up if it does.  It could easily cause problems if
it doesn't recognize that there are multi-OS's installed.  Well, food for
thought. 

I gotta go now and probably won't have time later to look into it further
tonight.  Good luck.

Ed

-----Original Message-----
From: pctechtalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:pctechtalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
recklessmaverick@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2009 10:05 AM
To: pctechtalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: -=PCTechTalk=- Re: XP Musical boot failure

My brain is a bit fried at the moment also.  That makes the idea of 
frying some sausage and eggs for breakfast rather displeasing.  Thank 
goodness for cereal and milk.  :-))


I also see very little to if anything to add to this topic and I have 
the system in front of me.  I doubt that we will ever be able to 
determine what it was about moving and returning the data drive files 
that caused the boot problem to appear.  Same goes for figuring out why 
doing a full image restore of all three drives did not fix the problem. 

An answer to this question will eliminate a guess on my part:  With some 
files that XP wants physically located on a separate drive, will XP look 
in its own drive's FAT or the DATA drive's FAT to find its location?

My guess?  The move and move back of the data files/folders would 
effectively defragment the drive and thus change file and folder 
locations.  If XP checks its own FAT (or other resource on its drive) 
first then it will get inaccurate information.

I wish I had kept the two boot problems in two separate threads.  At one 
point it seems the two got mixed together but I will sort that out as I 
write this reply.

To simplify the "see below the above below the below above" situation I 
will quote pertinent parts up here but leave the full message below for 
reference.

"The first screen is something like "Windows is starting up". The second 
is something like "Windows is loading your preferences". The first one 
looks to the System area of the registry. The second focuses on the User 
area. Perhaps we're looking at a corrupted registry in the User part. 
Remind me: Have you tried a System Restore to back to before the big bang?"

No.  My use of the term "restore" referred to use of the backup image 
created using ATI.  I had no access to XP to do a system restore and did 
not think that a Vista system restore would help XP.

"Triple check the cables, too.  I would even suspect the power cables and 
swap them for any other molex connectors that might be available.  Even if 
none were available, I'd likely pull a couple of 'good' ones from lesser 
devices just to make this switch.  Give those now deprived devices the ones 
that used to go to the hard drives and see what happens."

The case is open as we speak, with the power on of course.  I see that I
have only two SATA power connectors... one on the DVD drive and one on the
Hard drive.  If length and positioning permit I will swap those around.  I
have a lot of molex connectors but I had trouble getting one to reach the
data drive when I installed it and may not be able to swap that around.  The
data drive has a new data cable but I will swap data cables between the DVD
and 






(sorry about the delay... the mention of sausage and eggs made me hungry) 


boot drive.


"A corrupted system file that's somehow unaffected by System Restore? A 
still somewhat loose data or power cable connection to the XP drive? Lab 
rats getting loose in your computer room? Insufficient power through 
your home (i.e. semi-frequent brownout conditions)? Voodoo?"

This is what made me think mentioning both problems in the same message 
was a mistake on my part.  I'm hooked up to a top notch UPS from APC so 
power flucuations don't impact the system.  I always thought that lab 
rats were a myth!!!  I'll watch out for them now.  And no more going 
barefoot in the computer room. 

"I don't know enough about permissions to confirm or deny this, but it 
sounds perfectly plausible that they would be stored within the file 
system itself."

Would it be plausible to think the FAT and MBR would be backed up when 
an image is created by Acronis True Image (or any other image 
software)?  If the answer is "Maybe" would telling it to do the image 
"sector by sector" make the difference?

"I'm scared, Don! Hold me! ;^) "

I'm scared too.  Ask Baby Doll to hold you.  :-))


Don

P.S.  I'll make this the last message I write in this thread since the 
above is the last of my ideas and questions.  I'll do a total reinstall 
across the board tomorrow or Saturday. 





Gman wrote:
> I'm guessing that I'm the one you're talking to here.    :)
>
> I saw your reply, but didn't see much that I could add without having the 
> system in front of me.  That is still the case, but I'll see if there's 
> anything else I might be able to add now that I've had some time to 
> subconsciously digest the previous reply.
>
> Peace,
> Gman
>
> http://www.thevenusproject.com/index.php
>
> "The only dumb questions are the ones we fail to ask"
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <recklessmaverick@xxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <pctechtalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 10:01 PM
> Subject: -=PCTechTalk=- Re: XP Musical boot failure
>
>
>   
>> I have not seen any response to this yet.  Perhaps it slipped by when
>> you weren't looking.  :-))
>>     
>
>
> I try my best not to look, but this is like one of those really bad
highway 
> accidents where you just can't help but slow down & gawk a little.    ;o)
>
>
>   
>> I'm cleaning everything that might have gotten put on each OS off to a
>> safe place to get ready to reinstall everything and would like to read
>> any comments you might have before I do so.
>>
>> My latest comments are prefaced by three dashes - - -
>>
>> Also let me clarify... during boot to XP the black screen with large XP
>> splash appears then disappears, then the blues screen and the small XP
>> splash appears briefly, seconds later the XP splash reappears and the
>> boot gets to the musical point and then hangs.  This may have been clear
>> before, but I never said specifically that the blue XP splash screen
>> appeared twice.
>>     
>
>
> The first screen is something like "Windows is starting up".  The second
is 
> something like "Windows is loading your preferences".  The first one looks

> to the System area of the registry.  The second focuses on the User area. 
> Perhaps we're looking at a corrupted registry in the User part.  Remind
me: 
> Have you tried a System Restore to back to before the big bang?
>
>
>   
>> The hardware configuration error is still popping up, so I will remove
>> both drives, do a good inspection of everything and then put them both
>> back in.  As insurance against a booby trap inserted by HP I will
>> relocate the boot partitions to the original 500GB drive.  Maybe I am
>> paranoid but they **did** booby trap the partitioning of the drive so I
>> think it is fair to be paranoid about the 500GB drive being the boot
>> drive.
>>     
>
>
> Triple check the cables, too.  I would even suspect the power cables and 
> swap them for any other molex connectors that might be available.  Even if

> none were available, I'd likely pull a couple of 'good' ones from lesser 
> devices just to make this switch.  Give those now deprived devices the
ones 
> that used to go to the hard drives and see what happens.
>
> Then, see below the below, below.
>
>
>   
>> Don
>>
>> recklessmaverick@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>>     
>>> - - - See below:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Gman wrote:
>>>
>>>       
>>>> See below:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>>> The XP install was first.  Then Vista.  Then XP was imaged followed by
>>>>> Vista and the Data Drive.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> This changes my initial guess, although I'm not yet sure where it sends

>>>> it.
>>>>
>>>> - - - I don't know either as I thought that was the sequence I included

>>>> in my original message.
>>>>         
>
>
> I'm sure you did, but I handle a veritable cornucopia of issues every day 
> including weekends (not just from this group and not just about
computers), 
> so I think that I think my brain is currently fried, I think.  Err, 
> sometimes.
>
>
>   
>>>>         
>>>>> Data drive was moved and moved back by Vista.  XP became screwed up.
>>>>>           
>
>
> And this really makes no sense to me, even though I've tried to offer up 
> possible reasons why it might happen.  If the data drive is located inside

> the tower, I'll now blame the possible loosening of a cable, static 
> electricity from your hand hitting something, you forgetting to turn off
the 
> machine before diving inside (you reckless pirate!), etc..  If the data 
> drive is in an external, ignore the previous guesses (except for the
turning 
> off of the system/diving pirate deal).
>
>
>   
>>>>>           
>>>> Was XP fired up at any time while the data drive was not where XP 
>>>> expected
>>>> it to be?
>>>>
>>>>         
>>> - - - No, not that I can remember.
>>>       
>
>
> There goes my Leaping Pirate excuse.    ;}
>
>
>   
>>>> Restored Data drive.  Restored XP.  Rewrote the Vista MBR using
EasyBCD.
>>>>         
>
>
> There goes my System Restore idea.     ;)
>
>
>   
>>>> XP was already messed up by this point, so the proverbial "if" is
likely 
>>>> to
>>>> be found within an action (or inaction) prior to this exercise.
>>>>
>>>> - - - I agree, restoring happened after the problem.  Question is why 
>>>> didn't it fix the problem.  To answer that we need to know what caused 
>>>> the problem.
>>>>         
>
>
> A corrupted system file that's somehow unaffected by System Restore?  A 
> still somewhat loose data or power cable connection to the XP drive?  Lab 
> rats getting loose in your computer room?  Insufficient power through your

> home (i.e. semi-frequent brownout conditions)?  Voodoo?
>
>
>   
>>>>> ***** If Vista hijacked permissions, I suspect I would need to restore
>>>>> Vista to release the hostages.  But, since the restored XP had those
>>>>> permissions, why didn't restoring it fix it?  Could something have
made
>>>>> changes to ntldr that would cause the problem?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> The rest of these questions appear to focus specifically on my 
>>>> suggestion of
>>>> 'Permissions'.  Never lose track of the fact that this entire
suggestion 
>>>> is
>>>> only a guess.  "IF" a serious inquiry were to be brought into this 
>>>> mystery,
>>>> it could very well turn out to be something else entirely.
>>>>
>>>> - - - What else might be the culprit?
>>>>         
>
>
> See below the above below above.
>
>
>   
>>>>         
>>>       
>>>> Under NTFS, permissions are written directly to the drive holding the
>>>> 'permissioned' items.  A restore of the Vista &/or XP volumes would do
>>>> nothing to modify the permissions physically stored on the NTFS 
>>>> formatted
>>>> Data drive.  Only a restore of the Data drive could do that.
>>>>
>>>> - - - This suggests that the data drive restore "should" have fixed the

>>>> problem UNLESS the "permissions" are contained in an area that was not 
>>>> included in the image.  Perhaps the FAT?
>>>>         
>
>
> I don't know enough about permissions to confirm or deny this, but it
sounds 
> perfectly plausible that they would be stored within the file system
itself.
>
>
>   
>>>>         
>>>>> What might have had permissions hijacked that would cause the hang at
>>>>> the point where it hangs?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> An important XP system file needed at XP's boot that did not give XP
>>>> permission to engage it when it was called from the XP registry during
>>>> bootup.
>>>>
>>>> - - - Is there a way to determine what might be the culprit?
>>>>         
>
>
> Above, below the around up down.  Bzzkt!
> I think I'm fully drained on this question.    8>}
>
>
>   
>>>>> If XP doesn't see the my documents folder, it simply creates a new one
>>>>> where it expects to find it.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> True.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>>> AVG Suite, MS Office 2007, MS Plus Digital Media Edition and Vispics
>>>>> were the only programs installed in XP and they were installed with
the
>>>>> Program Files folder on the data drive.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> Noted.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>>> ***** It would seem to me the "missing" program files folder would
>>>>> simply create error messages during boot and start up rather than hang
>>>>> the boot itself since (I assume) startup programs don't start until
>>>>> Windows is loaded.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> If the registry had been told to use a separate volume for its Program 
>>>> Files
>>>> folder, all already existing Program Files files & folders need to be 
>>>> Copied
>>>> over to that volume.  If this is not done, Windows is likely to go 
>>>> looking
>>>> in the wrong location for the files added to this system folder during 
>>>> the
>>>> install.  In other words, it will look for most (but not all) of them
in 
>>>> the
>>>> new location.  If they are not where they are expected to be,
unexpected
>>>> results can be expected instead.  As a precaution against this, I Copy 
>>>> the
>>>> original to the new location, make the necessary changes to the
registry 
>>>> to
>>>> tell Windows to use the new location for both 'Program Files' & 'Common
>>>> Files' and then leave the old ones right where they are.
>>>>       - - - During installation some programs do not give option to 
>>>> select
>>>> where to install.  I assume at least some of those would look to the 
>>>> registry
>>>> to find the default program files folder.  I would not be surprised to 
>>>> learn
>>>> that some do not and instead automatically install to C:\Program Files.

>>>> If
>>>> something like that was installed could/would it be a contibuting 
>>>> factor?
>>>> If a program that does not use the registry default but did give the 
>>>> option
>>>> where to install and I oooopsed and failed to select the data drive,
>>>> would/could that be a factor?
>>>>         
>
>
> If you don't tell an app where to install it will default to wherever the 
> registry thinks it should go (to your established Program files area, 
> regardless of where theat might be), UNLESS, the program itself was hard 
> coded to install to a specific place like C:/Program Files or just C:/.
An 
> app that's coded this way will not care that the rest of the party is up
in 
> apartment 'D:/'.  No factor here that I can see.
>
>
>   
>>>>> ***** At any rate I will simply reinstall both systems and start over.
>>>>> And everything is going to go where the OS wants it to be.  And then I
>>>>> may try relocating the "My Documents" and "Documents folders to the 
>>>>> Data
>>>>> Drive (or maybe an external) and point XP and Vista (respectively) to
>>>>> them.   I'm thinking that using the internal data drive will be best 
>>>>> and
>>>>> just "sync" it to an external when I need to go portable.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> Fair enough.  Although you are choosing to use much less than you have
>>>> learned here, the fact remains that you now know a heck of a lot more 
>>>> than
>>>> you did before you started these experiments.  Perhaps it's time to
drop 
>>>> the
>>>> 'reckless' part from your name.       ;)
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>       
>>>> - - -  I have not yet done the reinstall of anything.  Since I have 
>>>> access to everything I need to do in Vista (Thank goodness for portable

>>>> applications on an external drive) I am in no hurry to do so as long as

>>>> it might be useful to keep the problem around in order to do 
>>>> troubleshooting or just poking around looking at things.   I have a 
>>>> feeling that some of the "reckless" remains so I won't be in a hurry to

>>>> change that either.  :-))
>>>>         
>
>
> I'm scared, Don!   Hold me!        ;^) 
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